Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.
The tradition that a woman called Veronica wiped the face of Jesus is not to be found in the four gospels in the New Testament. Rather it comes from the apocryphal gospel of Nicodemus which probably dates to the 4th Century. Over the centuries it has gained a place in the Stations of the Cross, and there are valid themes to be meditated upon in this story.
Jesus, suddenly a woman comes out of the crowd. Her name is Veronica. You can see how she cares for you as she takes a cloth and begins to wipe the blood and sweat from your face. She can’t do much, but she offers what little help she can.
As a child, sometimes we know someone could use a little help and understanding. They may be picked on or teased by others, or just sad or lonely. Sometimes we feel bad that others don’t step in to help, but there again we don’t help either.
As an adult, we notice the needs around us. Sometimes our own family members crave our attention, and we don’t even seem to notice. Sometimes a co-worker, friend, or family member could use help or understanding, but we don’t reach out to help lest we are criticised, or worse still they demand more of us than I’d like to give.
We confess, Lord, that we often fail to see the love which prompts the actions of others, and so dismiss, as insignificant, deeds that are beautiful in your eyes. Give us the patience to discern the charity that dwells in our neighbours and hear our prayer for all those who long to ease the pain of the world yet feel their achievements are so small.
Lord, in your mercy: Hear our prayer